Prayer

The True Ecumenism Spadaro and Figueroa Missed

Jesuit Antonio Spadaro and Protestant Marcelo Figueroa recently published what can only be described as a diatribe against my friends and me. It was highly personal because it was directed right at a coalition of believers who have banded together to advance what a previous pope referred to as a Culture of Life. The column [...]

The Age of Noise

More than 70 years ago, the English satirist Aldous Huxley wrote that modernity is the “age of noise.” He was writing about the radio, whose noise, he said “penetrates the mind, filling it with a babel of distractions—news items, mutually irrelevant bits of information, blasts of corybantic or sentimental music, continually repeated doses of drama [...]

What Can a Noble Pagan Teach Us?

In a post-Christian world, ancient wisdom is all the more impressive. It isn’t difficult to see why Dante referred to the ancients as “noble pagans.” Today the noble pagans have been supplanted by militant technocrats. Perhaps our touchscreen techno-culture atrophies our imaginative faculty, which C.S. Lewis believed was the seedbed of faith. We have little [...]

Growing Opposition to Prayer in Public Life

In the wake of the terrorist attack in San Bernardino on December 2, I noted a very disturbing reaction, which speaks of a growing cleft in American society. That chasm should be worrisome both to those who believe America is growing into two separate and irreconcilable societies, as well as for those who think American [...]

Why Pray?

Hope is the thing with feathers, That perches in the soul, And sings the tune without the words, And never stops at all… ∼ Emily Dickinson If hope is a virtue we cannot reach heaven without, where then is the handle we need to take hold of to get there? The answer is prayer, which is [...]

Trigger Warnings to Prayer Triggers: A Call for Frequent Prayer

Borrowing from C. S. Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters, Father Paul Scalia once wrote that the Devil can’t create. “The Devil is unable to create anything. He lacks the ability to create…. He can only take what is good and distort it a bit…. So the Devil takes the good things of God and he mimics [...]

Kneeling Ban: Good Liturgy or Loss of Religious Freedom?

Some religious leaders in the Latin Rite are pressuring Catholics not to kneel at the Consecration, or to genuflect at their reception of the Eucharist. This trend has gained a great deal of traction in recent years, and is causing alarm among those who see it as a restriction of religious freedom. As Catholics, we [...]

Forget the Money, ask St Anthony!

Let’s face it, there is one route the finance guys have yet to try. You have to pray to a saint! Am I right? We had a problem. A BIG problem! Exactly, it was all about money. We were staring two mortgages in the face. Changing houses is easy if your bank goes along with [...]

Of Saints, Suffering, and Scleroderma

In my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions (Col. 1.24). “Hello, Faddah!” I’m guessing it was probably the first time Pope John Paul II heard that one in the Vatican’s audience hall. It was my sister, Adeline, who was visiting Rome with my mom and dad many years ago. None of them were Catholic at [...]

What My Mother Taught Me About Mindless Prayer

I was all alone, and the pain was coming back. "Oh gosh. Oh dear God." Quickly it escalated to an electric pitch. Sudden and unexpected these words gasped out: "Jesus, Mary and Joseph, I love you, save souls." More like a scream this time: “JESUS MARY JOSEPH! I love you, save souls!" The pain abated [...]

Victory for Life in Colorado

 “It is from the blood of Christ that all draw the strength to commit themselves to promoting life.” — Blessed John Paul II (1995) John Paul’s statement was borne out in a poignant way this week, as men and women across my state, Colorado, spent Holy Week praying and fasting in response to a legislative [...]

The Burden of Friendship

I have a friend, Adrian, whom I have known for nearly thirty years. He and his family of eleven children and some grandchildren live in our state's capital, Sydney, more than five hundred kilometers away, so we do not see as much of each other as we would like. A few weeks back he called [...]

On The Efficacy of Happy Thoughts

We’ve all gotten the message from a well-meaning coworker or friend: they’ve heard of some misfortune or illness you’ve suffered and they tell you that you’re “in their thoughts” or that they are “sending you positive feelings.” You’re left wanting to thank them but wondering just what, exactly, such a sentiment actually means. The power [...]

Hear the Word

It can be disconcerting to watch the ranks of people walking along the city streets with wires in their ears, oblivious to the lives being lived around them, and tuning in only to what they choose to hear.  It is surprising that more of them are not run over by taxis, but even if they [...]

How to Develop a Prayer Life that Transforms

On Ash Wednesday a wise priest said, “For Heaven’s sake, don’t give up anything for Lent, if you’re just thinking of chocolate, coffee, alcohol, or facebook. Turn your heart to God! Free yourself of the aggravation, anger, jealousy, and hatred that separates you from him. But how, you may ask? Through prayer, daily prayer.” Lent [...]

Two Hearts in One

Whole books with titles like A Treasury of Christian Prayer attest to the fact that the Church can dip into vast pools of prayer and come up with any number of prayers that it might set before us for our contemplation. Some of them, such as the "Prayer of St. Francis," are very popular and [...]

Joining the Choir Invisible

Some years back, I was privileged to hear a tape of some original music recorded by several friends of mine. Singing on the tape were four women with well-trained voices and an astonishing gift for harmony. And though it was done on a shoestring (the whole thing was put together in someone's basement), the music [...]

The Little Consecration

Over the past six years, people -- particularly other moms -- have asked me how I've handled being a military mom. Most of the time, I just chuckle. I don't feel like I've handled it at all. Basically, I've let our Blessed Mother handle it for me, and I merely go along for the ride. [...]

How One Community Brought Renewal to Religious Life

Since it was a decidedly Catholic film, it was only fitting that the invited audience at the premiere of Thérèse should be the same. Sitting with actor/director Leonardo Defelippis in the New York theater were a bishop, some priests, local diocesan officials, Catholic activists, and a patchwork of religious men and women wearing full-length habits.  [...]

A Mother’s Liturgy of the Hours

  I grew up with a dad who prays the Liturgy of the Hours, and as a result, the Church's daily pockets of prayer have always held a special attraction for me. Perhaps when I am an older woman, I will live the kind of life conducive to praying the Divine Office, but for now, [...]

Whom Have I in Heaven but Thee?

Whom have I in heaven but thee? So cried Asaph the psalmist. It is an astonishing moment in the history of man, for Asaph had looked upon the wicked and seen how they prospered. His feet had well nigh slipped, he says. Yet he held fast to two truths that had been revealed to him. [...]

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